Chrome used to automatically save files when I clicked on them, including PDFs. This is the behaviour I want to go back to. Now on Chrome beta 56.0.2924.28 when I click on PDF links it automatically opens in my PDF viewer and nothing I've tried to get the old behaviour back has worked.

I have Chrome's built-in PDF viewer disabled in about:plugins. I've gone to advanced settings and clicked clear auto-opening settings. I've even tried alt+click which forces links to save, but it still just automatically opens PDFs. This is a security risk and I need to fix this.

I'm on Linux so this isn't some 3rd-party setting from Adobe or anything. I've noticed another thing: I have never chosen to always open files of this type for anything, but in advanced settings above the clear button it says: You have chosen to open certain file types automatically after downloading. Clicking the clear button has no effect on this.

Edit: Actually, even if I right+click and choose download link it automatically opens my PDF viewer after choosing the location! I think this must be a bug.

1 Answer 1


This behavior can be switched off, only the setting is a bit hidden:

  • Go to chrome://settings/content
  • Scroll down to "PDF Documents"
  • Uncheck "Open PDF files in the default PDF viewer application"
  • 1
    PS: Unfortunately, unchecking this option will automatically re-enable the internal PDF viewer, which then can't be switched off. So Google only gives us two options: (1) To view the PDF in the browser window and (2) to download and automatically open it.
    – kernpanik
    Feb 11, 2017 at 10:56
  • 1
    Unfortunately that makes them open in Chrome itself, however after toggling the setting back it works properly again, so thank you! Also I found you can get to the same location by clicking advanced settings at the bottom of Settings page and clicking the Content button under Privacy. Odd place for it.
    – Tanath
    Feb 11, 2017 at 10:58

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